(TEISON MARU former VILLE DE VERDUN)
Transport TEISON MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement
© 2009-2013 Bob Hackett, Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall.
Londonderry, Ireland. Laid down at the North of Ireland Shipbuiling Co. Ltd. as a 7,007-ton passenger/cargo ship for Compagnie Havraise Péninsulaire De Navigation À Vapeur of Le Havre, France.
13 November 1920:
Launched and named VILLE DE VERDUN.
11 November 1921:
Assigned to Compagnie Havraise’s route from Le Havre to the Indian Ocean.
Messageries Maritimes charters VILLE DE VERDUN for four years for their Northern Europe-Australia route via the Suez Canal.
Acquired by Messageries Maritimes.
Dunkirk. Collides with and sinks tug boat TRAPU.
Assigned to the Indian Ocean route.
Assigned to Messageries Maritimes Marseilles-New Caledonia route via the Panama Canal.
3 September 1939-World War II Begins:
After the German invasion of Poland, Britain and France declare war on Nazi Germany.
1 October 1939:
Departs Indochina with 300 soldiers bound for France.
25 June 1940: Franco-German Armistice:
VILLE DE VERDUN is integrated into Vichy’s fleet.
Makes the first voyage to Indochina via Cape Town, South Africa. That same month, Vichy France grants Japan limited military occupation of Indochina.
Assigned to the Dakar-Madagascar line.
10 July 1941:
Departs Marseilles to Madagascar.
12 October 1941:
Departs Diego Suarez, Madagascar for Indochina.
8 December 1941: The Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor:
VILLE DE VERDUN is docked at Saigon, southern Indochina.
At Haiphong, north Indochina.
3 March 1942:
27 March 1942:
Calls at Osaka, Japan. Loads for Nagoya.
10 April 1942:
Requisitioned by the Japanese under the Right of Angary.
16 April 1942:
Arrives at Nagoya.
Departs Nagoya for Saigon.
Arrives at Saigon. Her French crew then departs for Kobe.
29 April 1942:
Arrives at Kobe. Chartered byTeikoku Senpaku (Imperial Steamship Co.) wholly owned by the Japanese government. Renamed TEISON MARU and used as a troop transport.
VILLE DE VERDUN’s French crew and those of CAP VARELLA, PERSEE and BOUGAINVILLE are repatriated from Yokohama to Haiphong on board CAP VARELLA that is renamed TEIKA MARU. Assigned signal letters JKIR.
15 June 1942:
Charter rates are agreed upon between the Japanese and the Vichy French-Indochina Navy. TEISON MARU’s rate is 72,832 Japanese Yen per month.
4 September 1942:
Arrives at Guadalcanal transporting troops.
10 October 1942:
Departs Moji for Mako, Pescadores.
14 October 1942:
Formosa Straits, about 100 miles from Kirun (now Keelung). At about 1500, LtCdr Jesse L. Hull’s (USNA ’26) USS FINBACK (SS-230) torpedoes and damages TEISON MARU at 25-20N, 121-25E. Auxiliary gunboat CHOHAKUSAN MARU is despatched to rescue the crew. There are no casualties. TEISON MARU is abandoned.
17 October 1942:
Drifting TEISON MARU finally sinks at 25-20N, 121-01E.
Bob Hackett, Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall.
Ex-French Transports in Japanese Service